nurses who self injure - page 4

hello i am a RN who works part time in geropsych and part time at another hospital on general surgical ward. i have scars on my upper arms from previous years when i used to cut myself.... Read More

  1. by   gwenith
    Quote from sax_journey
    i did join nsw union after being fired from ngp. but u r right i should have joined ACT as well, it is certainly not worth working without legal protection. Thanx 4 the suggestions. The reg board is the last place i'd go for fear it would be turned around on me somehow. i know people who have lost their reg due to hx mental health issues and that is the last thing i'd want.
    I was surprised when I read about you being fired as well - There are so many legal avenues for unfair dismissal. You seem to have a clear case to take before the industrial relations commission

    • whether there was a valid reason for the termination related to the capacity or conduct of the employee or the operational requirements of the business

    • whether the employee was notified of that reason

    • whether the employee was given an opportunity to respond to any reason related to their capacity or conduct

    • if the termination related to unsatisfactory work performance, whether the employee had been warned about that unsatisfactory performance before the termination

    • the degree to which the size of the employer's business would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination

    • the degree to which an absence of dedicated human resource management specialists or expertise in the business would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the termination.

    tp://www.wagenet.gov.au/WageNet/templates/PageMaker.asp?category=FactSheets&fileName=../FactSheets/DataFiles/General/UnfairDismissal.html

    http://www.apesma.asn.au/adviceonlin..._dismissal.htm

    Even what is happening to you now, by the sounds of it could be grounds for action under the unfair dismissal act. As for the registration board - there is no way that they would act without good and sufficient reason - not since the Queensland Council got it's fingers burnt over this.

    I think we should copy and post this thread in the Australian forum as I am sure there are many with more intimate knowledge of NSW legislation who could help you.
  2. by   Psi
    Quote from soleilpie
    i agree. everyone has a personality disorder then. i eat when i'm depressed. that in and of itself is very destructive because being overweight is not a healthy state to be in. smoking is a form of self injuring and so is drinking and we could go on and on. cutting oneself seems extreme and that's why people probably make a big deal out of it but like someone else had mentioned before, it's not a suicidal tendency. just because someone does or has done self-destructive things, doesn't mean that they'll eventually turn it onto others. i don't think that has been found in any case studies but i could be wrong. i'm not saying it can't happen but i don't think it's the norm. if only people who have perfect self-esteem can work as a health care provider, then the health care system is going to be virtually nonexistent.
    everyone doesn't have a personality disorder. there are a number of criteria that need to be met to get this diagnosis. overeating does not qualify on its own. neither does dsh, although it is a strong indicator, particularly when it is habitual.

    the issue is not that pds are likely to kill patients. the issue is that to meet the criteria of pd an individual has to have an inability to cope with life and patterns of extreme behaviour. a nurse, particularly in mental health has to have a number of attributes to their personality in order to be able to function safely and effectively. the existence of a pd indicates that one or more of these attributes are not present.
  3. by   sax_journey
    Perhaps i could have had a case after being fired. i was only a new grad and i didnt know much about the union, or unfair dismissal etc. it was devestating to my self esteem to be fired from a new grad prog, and i just walked away, i really didnt want to think about it. In hindsight i was miserable in that hospital, and am much better off now in my current position (one of them anyhow)...and this time i will not walk away when i am treated unfairly.


    i would love to hear from anyone with any knowledge/advice in Australia. How am i able to copy this post to the Australian forum? i am desperate for some solution to this problem...but at the same time i am frightened of losing my registration as i do have a mental health hx.....and with all these allegations flying around, i just cant seem to convince anyone that i am innocent, mentally stable.....


    i went to the meeting today with the DON and ADON. It was a nightmare, and very very bizarre.

    They sayd it was not a "disciplinary matter" and yet i am still suspended until further notice.

    They deny speaking to my other employer, state that they didnt even realise i was working elsewhere, and THEN state they have spoken TWICE to my other employer about this matter????

    They deny discussing it with other staff, but later admit to discussing it with two other staff but this was "only out of concern for my well being"

    And on and on it went full of strange things but i wont write them all out....but the weirdest most infuriating thing was this--

    They threatened that if i do not "confess" to being guilty of these allegations then 1. they will fire me and 2. they will report me to the reg board.......now it seems so odd that they want me to confess to threatenting residents among other things, and if i do not confess then i lose me job??? maybe it is a trick or something, i just cant understand.

    Obviously i refused to confess as i am innocent.....they stated that they believe the other people who reported these complaints and i am either 1. lying or 2. so mentally unstable that i completly forgot these events happened......

    They kept telling me to "trust them"......yeah right after they lied to me and about me, and are now trying to blackmail me into making a false confession???

    then they sayd what a great RN i am, that they have no concerns about my pt care (um but they want me to confess to threatening residents??), and that the person who reported me stated the same thing (so why did they report me then??).....then they basically sayd if i do not co operate with them (ie tell them what they want to hear) then my "nursing career is over"...

    i know this sounds bizarre, and i can hardly believe it either, i am stuck and dont know what to do now?? i think i will try the IRC like you suggested, particularly if they do terminate my employment. atm i am just "suspended until further notice" and who knows what that means???

    i can not understand any of this????





    Quote from gwenith
    I was surprised when I read about you being fired as well - There are so many legal avenues for unfair dismissal. You seem to have a clear case to take before the industrial relations commission

    tp://www.wagenet.gov.au/WageNet/templates/PageMaker.asp?category=FactSheets&fileName=../FactSheets/DataFiles/General/UnfairDismissal.html

    http://www.apesma.asn.au/adviceonlin..._dismissal.htm

    Even what is happening to you now, by the sounds of it could be grounds for action under the unfair dismissal act. As for the registration board - there is no way that they would act without good and sufficient reason - not since the Queensland Council got it's fingers burnt over this.

    I think we should copy and post this thread in the Australian forum as I am sure there are many with more intimate knowledge of NSW legislation who could help you.
  4. by   gwenith
    Okay first - is this a Goverment institution because if it is you have a LOT of avenues through the greivance process. Regardless of whether it is though you have certain "rights" in Australia (not written into the constitution but as an inherent part of the legal system)

    It is called "natural justice". Under natural justice you have the right to know the exact charges against you, you have a right of defense. You also have the right to have another person in the room when facing the ADON and the DON - in fact you should definitely do so. That other person ideally is a union representative but any friend will do. Having a lawyer present, although legally ideal could escalate the problem.

    I have a feeling though that there is something you are not telling us as, from what I gather this is the second job where you have had difficulties.
  5. by   gwenith
    I have moved this thead to this forum so my fellow Aussies can have a good look at the whole story. If the whole story as posted by the OP in this thread and previous threads is read there are a lot of aspects that require answers.
  6. by   talaxandra
    As an ANF rep I'm disappointed by your account of the union's lack of support. It's true that you need to be a member at the time of the incident,* but I would have thought that membership in NSW would cover work in the ACT.
    In any case, it seems clear that you need to have representation at meetings, if only for confirmation of the lying of admin.
    I'm so sorry that you're going through this hideous experience. That said, I think you need to take a stand or it will follow you.
    Good luck



    *A lot of people were only joining after something happened, and the principle's the same as contents or health insurance, coverage-wise
  7. by   Grace Oz
    Continue to pursue the ANF for help/guidance. Engage a lawyer. Document EVERYTHING!! Keep a daily diary of EVERYTHING. As Gwenith says, contact the Industrial Relations Tribunal.

    NEVER NEVER NEVER enter into talks, discussions, whatever... WITHOUT a WITNESS/SUPPORT PERSON PRESENT.

    Best wishes for a favourable outcome.
  8. by   N.IRISH DIALYSIS RN
    I have to agree with sax journey, self injury on its own is not a mental illness or personality disorder. Like she/he says it is a coping mechanism which some people use at particularly stressful times. Thats why it's usually adolescents who do it. The same adolescents usually grow out of it and develop other ways to cope and turn into perfectly stable adults.
    I had a school friend who used to do this. She did it for a few years after her father was murdered. Twenty years later she still has a few scars but she is one of the most well balanced, stable individuals I know.Thats with no therapy or treatment.
    If only dangerous nurses such as Beverly Allitt were so easy to spot. She appeared such a nice, caring nurse that she was Godmother to two of the children she harmed.

    To the original poster, you have done NOTHING wrong, remember that and don't panic. The fact that you self harmed years ago is no more an indication that you would harm patients than if you previously excessively bit your nails or had suffered from insomnia due to stress.
    Even if it was the case that you were presently self harming, your management should take it as a sign that you are under stress and offer you assistance and support, not comdemnation. So much for the "caring" profession!
  9. by   maenadic
    Quote from Psi
    I would say without hesitation that suffering from a PD does very much make someone unsuitable to work as a nurse.
    read back on what you said in 6 months psi and perhaps you'll agree then
    that snap judgements in individual mental health cases continues the cycle of stigma, despite you're silky expressions....

    It all a question of degrees. Would you then say that someone who has a a singular psychotic episode 15 years ago should also not be a nurse due to "history". If so, what's the rationale for this kind of blanket statement?

    I don't think anyone whose passed their "judgement" on Sax has had a right to do so at this stage - especially not so publically and conspiratorially, until Sax has had the formal opportunity to defend herself or have a qualified diagnosis and current health status properly defined in which she can then sort out this quandry.
    Last edit by maenadic on Mar 31, '05 : Reason: maybe a little harsh

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